Friday, April 17, 2015

Fun Home

Photo: Sara Krulwich
There's very little to say about Fun Home that wasn't enumerated by Wendy's spot-on comments, so I'll simply say this:

I am glad that Alison Bechdel decided to tell her story ten years ago. It meant a lot to me then, as a young person coming to terms with my own sexuality and place in the world, and it continues to mean a lot to me now. And it's meant a lot to a hell of a lot of people for a hell of a lot of reasons.

I am glad that Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori decided to adapt Bechdel's memoir for the stage. They were the absolute right people to do so, and their deep understanding of the beautiful and painful intricacies of Bechdel's story is reflected in the brilliant musical they created.

I am glad that the Public Theater had faith in this musical and saw it through workshops, development productions, and the wildly-acclaimed, multi-extended full production that opened in the fall of 2013. The Public has given voice to a wide array of artists and stories over the course of its sixty year history, and Fun Home is another sparkling panel in their rich and diverse tapestry.

I am glad that there are artists like Judy Kuhn, Michael Cerveris, Emily Skeggs, Beth Malone, Joel Perez, and Robert Colindrez to bring these deeply flawed, tragic, staggering, and beautiful characters to life. I am glad that there are young performers like Sydney Lucas in the world, for she embodies Alison Bechdel better than I ever imagined anyone could.

I am glad that there are still producers who aren't afraid to bring a musical like this to Broadway. A musical with complicated, adult themes. A musical with a lesbian central character. A musical that rejects easy answers and unearned cheerfulness. A musical that recognizes how messy, how tragic, and how magnificent life really is, and isn't afraid to to reflect that. To the producers who moved this show uptown, to greater visibility and a wider audience, I say thank you.

I am glad that Fun Home exists. Plain and simple.

[TDF, rear side orchestra]

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